An energy superpower is a country that supplies large amounts of energy resources to a significant number of other countries, therefore has the potential to influence world markets to gain a political or economic advantage. Russia has been described as an energy superpower, as have Saudi Arabia, Canada and Iran; the United States is said to be a potential energy superpower because of its large shale gas reserves. Energy superpower status might be exercised, for example, by influencing the price on global markets, or by withholding supplies; the status of "energy superpower" should not be confused with that of "superpower". Russia's reserves of natural gas have helped give it the title of energy superpower. However, this status has been called into question by some; as Vladimir Milov, of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, says: The "energy superpower" concept is an illusion with no basis in reality. Most dangerously, it doesn’t recognize the mutual dependence between Russia and energy consumers.
Because of political conflicts and declining production, future supply disruptions to Europe are likely. As a result, European gas companies may someday demand elimination of the take-or-pay conditions in their Russian contracts; this would threaten Gazprom’s ability to borrow. Putin’s attempt to use energy to increase Russian influence could backfire in the long run. According to Manik Talwani, a geophysicist at Rice University, there are two countries that are most to join Saudi Arabia in attaining the status of oil superpower: Venezuela and Canada. Citing their enormous potential reserves, Talwani believes that they have the reserves to become energy superpowers in the next few decades as oil production declines elsewhere. However, as Talwani notes, both need US$100 billion or more to increase their production levels up to those of true energy superpowers. In 2007, al-Qaeda announced a new strategy for fighting the United States. Rather than only targeting U. S. interests directly in an attempt to cripple it, al-Qaeda considers cutting off the supply of energy to the U.
S. to be a high priority. As reported after a failed 2006 attempt in Saudi Arabia: "A major supply disruption would send energy prices soaring. Had the Abqaiq attack been successful – guards fired on cars driven by the bombers, detonating the explosives inside – some experts say oil prices would have broken all records. A catastrophic hit could bring transportation and other parts of the U. S. and world economies to a standstill." Energy security Petroleum politics Swing producer World energy resources
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an international organization headquartered in Washington, D. C. consisting of "189 countries working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty around the world." Formed in 1944 at the Bretton Woods Conference by the ideas of Harry Dexter White and John Maynard Keynes, it came into formal existence in 1945 with 29 member countries and the goal of reconstructing the international payment system. It now plays a central role in the management of balance of payments difficulties and international financial crises. Countries contribute funds to a pool through a quota system from which countries experiencing balance of payments problems can borrow money; as of 2016, the fund had SDR477 billion. Through the fund, other activities such as the gathering of statistics and analysis, surveillance of its members' economies and the demand for particular policies, the IMF works to improve the economies of its member countries.
The organisation's objectives stated in the Articles of Agreement are: to promote international monetary co-operation, international trade, high employment, exchange-rate stability, sustainable economic growth, making resources available to member countries in financial difficulty. IMF funds come from two major sources:quotas and loans. Quotas, which are pooled funds of member nations, generate most IMF funds; the size of a member's quota depends on its financial importance in the world. Nations with larger economic importance have larger quotas; the quotas are increased periodically as a means of boosting the IMF's resources. The current Managing Director and Chairwoman of the International Monetary Fund is French lawyer and former politician, Christine Lagarde, who has held the post since 5 July 2011. Gita Gopinath was appointed as Chief Economist of IMF from October 1, 2018, she received her Ph. D. in economics from Princeton University. According to the IMF itself, it works to foster global growth and economic stability by providing policy advice and financing the members by working with developing nations to help them achieve macroeconomic stability and reduce poverty.
The rationale for this is that private international capital markets function imperfectly and many countries have limited access to financial markets. Such market imperfections, together with balance-of-payments financing, provide the justification for official financing, without which many countries could only correct large external payment imbalances through measures with adverse economic consequences; the IMF provides alternate sources of financing. Upon the founding of the IMF, its three primary functions were: to oversee the fixed exchange rate arrangements between countries, thus helping national governments manage their exchange rates and allowing these governments to prioritize economic growth, to provide short-term capital to aid the balance of payments; this assistance was meant to prevent the spread of international economic crises. The IMF was intended to help mend the pieces of the international economy after the Great Depression and World War II; as well, to provide capital investments for economic growth and projects such as infrastructure.
The IMF's role was fundamentally altered by the floating exchange rates post-1971. It shifted to examining the economic policies of countries with IMF loan agreements to determine if a shortage of capital was due to economic fluctuations or economic policy; the IMF researched what types of government policy would ensure economic recovery. A particular concern of the IMF was to prevent financial crisis, such as those in Mexico 1982, Brazil in 1987, East Asia in 1997–98 and Russia in 1998, from spreading and threatening the entire global financial and currency system; the challenge was to promote and implement policy that reduced the frequency of crises among the emerging market countries the middle-income countries which are vulnerable to massive capital outflows. Rather than maintaining a position of oversight of only exchange rates, their function became one of surveillance of the overall macroeconomic performance of member countries, their role became a lot more active because the IMF now manages economic policy rather than just exchange rates.
In addition, the IMF negotiates conditions on lending and loans under their policy of conditionality, established in the 1950s. Low-income countries can borrow on concessional terms, which means there is a period of time with no interest rates, through the Extended Credit Facility, the Standby Credit Facility and the Rapid Credit Facility. Nonconcessional loans, which include interest rates, are provided through Stand-By Arrangements, the Flexible Credit Line, the Precautionary and Liquidity Line, the Extended Fund Facility; the IMF provides emergency assistance via the Rapid Financing Instrument to members facing urgent balance-of-payments needs. The IMF is mandated to oversee the international monetary and financial system and monitor the economic and financial policies of its member countries; this activity facilitates international co-operation. Since the demise of the Bretton Woods system of fixed exchange rates in the early 1970s, surveillance has evolved by way of changes in procedures rather than through the adoption of new obligations.
The responsibilities changed from those of guardian to those of overseer of members' policies. The Fund analyses the appropriateness of each member country's economic and financial policies for achieving orderly economic growth, assesses the consequences of these policies for other countries and for the global e
Bank for International Settlements
The Bank for International Settlements is an international financial institution owned by central banks which "fosters international monetary and financial cooperation and serves as a bank for central banks". The BIS carries out its work through its meetings and through the Basel Process – hosting international groups pursuing global financial stability and facilitating their interaction, it provides banking services, but only to central banks and other international organizations. It is based in Basel, with representative offices in Hong Kong and Mexico City; the BIS was established in 1930 by an intergovernmental agreement between Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Japan, the United States, Switzerland. It opened its doors in Basel, Switzerland, on 17 May 1930; the BIS was intended to facilitate reparations imposed on Germany by the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, to act as the trustee for the German Government International Loan, floated in 1930. The need to establish a dedicated institution for this purpose was suggested in 1929 by the Young Committee, was agreed to in August of that year at a conference at The Hague.
The charter for the bank was drafted at the International Bankers Conference at Baden-Baden in November, adopted at a second Hague Conference on January 20, 1930. According to the charter, shares in the bank could be held by individuals and non-governmental entities. However, the rights of voting and representation at the Bank's General Meeting were to be exercised by the central banks of the countries in which shares had been issued. By agreement with Switzerland, the BIS had its corporate headquarters there, it enjoyed certain immunities in the contracting states. The BIS’s original task of facilitating World War I reparation payments became obsolete. Reparation payments were first suspended and abolished altogether. Instead, the BIS focused on its second statutory task, i.e. fostering the cooperation between its member central banks. It provided banking facilities to them. For instance, in the late 1930s, the BIS was instrumental in helping continental European central banks shipping out part of their gold reserves to London and New York.
At the same time, the BIS fell under the spell of the appeasement illusion. The most notorious incident in this context was the transfer of 23 tons of gold held by the BIS in London on behalf of the Czechoslovakian national bank to the German Reichsbank after Nazi Germany occupied Czechoslovakia in March 1939. At the outbreak of World War II in September 1939, the BIS Board of Directors – on which the main European central banks were represented – decided that the Bank should remain open, but that, for the duration of hostilities, no meetings of the Board of Directors were to take place and that the Bank should maintain a neutral stance in the conduct of its business. However, as the war dragged on evidence mounted that the BIS conducted operations that were helpful to the Germans. Throughout the war, the Allies accused the Nazis of looting and pled with the BIS not to accept gold from the Reichsbank in payment for prewar obligations linked to the Young Plan; this was to no avail as remelted gold was either confiscated from prisoners or seized in victory and thus acceptable as payment to the BIS.
Operations conducted by the BIS were viewed with increasing suspicion from Washington. The fact that top level German industrialists and advisors sat on the BIS board seemed to provide ample evidence of how the BIS might be used by Hitler throughout the war, with the help of American and French banks. Between 1933 and 1945 the BIS board of directors included Walther Funk, a prominent Nazi official, Emil Puhl, as well as Hermann Schmitz, the director of IG Farben, Baron von Schroeder, the owner of the J. H. Stein Bank; the 1944 Bretton Woods Conference recommended the "liquidation of the Bank for International Settlements at the earliest possible moment". This resulted in the BIS being the subject of a disagreement between the U. S. and British delegations. The liquidation of the bank was supported by other European delegates, as well as Americans, but it was opposed by head of the British delegation. Keynes went to Morgenthau hoping to prevent or postpone the dissolution, but the next day it was approved.
However, the liquidation of the bank was never undertaken. In April 1945, the new U. S. president Harry S. Truman and the British government suspended the dissolution, the decision to liquidate the BIS was reversed in 1948. After World War II, the BIS retained a distinct European focus, it acted as Agent for the European Payments Union, an intra-European clearing arrangement designed to help the European countries in restoring currency convertibility and free, multilateral trade. During the 1960s – the heyday of the Bretton Woods fixed exchange rate system – the BIS once again became the locus for transatlantic monetary cooperation, it coordinated a number of currency support operations. The Group of Ten, including the main European economies, Canada and the United States, became the most prominent grouping. With the end of the Bretton Woods system and the transition to floating exchange rates, financial stability issues came to the fore; the collapse of some internationally active banks, such as Herstatt Bank, highlighted the need for improved banking supervision at an inter
The Asian Century is the projected 21st-century dominance of Asian politics and culture, assuming certain demographic and economic trends persist. The concept of Asian Century parallels the characterization of the 19th century as Britain's Imperial Century, the 20th century as the American Century. A 2011 study by the Asian Development Bank found that an additional 3 billion Asians could enjoy living standards similar to those in Europe today, the region could account for over half of global output by the middle of this century, it warned, that the Asian Century is not preordained. The growing importance and emphasis of unity in Asia, as well as maturing and progressive relationships among countries in the region further solidify the creation of the 21st Asian Century. In 1924, Karl Haushofer used the term "Pacific age," envisaging the growth of Japan and India: "A giant space is expanding before our eyes with forces pouring into it which... await the dawn of the Pacific age, the successor of the Atlantic age, the over-age Mediterranean and European era."
The phrase Asian Century arose in the mid to late 1980s, is attributed to a 1988 meeting with People's Republic of China leader Deng Xiaoping and Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in which Deng said that'n recent years people have been saying that the next century will be the century of Asia and the Pacific, as if that were sure to be the case. I disagree with this view.' Prior to this, it made an appearance in a 1985 US Senate Committee on Foreign Relations hearing. It has been subsequently reaffirmed by Asian political leaders, is now a popularly used term in the media. Asia's robust economic performance over the three decades preceding 2010, compared to that in the rest of the world, made the strongest case yet for the possibility of an Asian Century. Although this difference in economic performance had been recognized for some time, specific individual setbacks tended to hide the broad sweep and general tendency. By the early 21st century, however, a strong case could be made that this stronger Asian performance was not just sustainable but held a force and magnitude that could alter the distribution of power on the planet.
Coming in its wake, global leadership in a range of significant areas—international diplomacy, military strength and soft power—might as a consequence, be assumed by one or more of Asia's nation states. Among many scholars have provided factors that have contributed to the significant Asian development, Kishore Mahbubani provides seven pillars that rendered the Asian countries to excel and provided themselves with the possibility to become compatible with the Western counterparts; the seven pillars include: free-market economics and technology, pragmatism, culture of peace, rule of law and education. Population growth in Asia is expected to continue through at least the first half of the 21st century, though it has slowed since the late 20th century. At four billion people in the beginning of the 21st century, the Asian population is predicted to grow to more than five billion by 2050. While its percent of the world population is not expected to change, North American and European shares of the global population are expected to decline.
The major driver is continued productivity growth in Asia in China and India, as living standards rise. Without converging with European or North American living standards, Asia's might produce half of global GDP by 2050; this is a large shift compared to the immediate post-cold war, when North America and Europe combined produced half of global GDP. A 2011 study by the Asian Development Bank stated that: "By nearly doubling its share of global gross domestic product to 52 percent by 2050, Asia would regain the dominant economic position it held some 300 years ago, before the industrial revolution; the notion of the Asian Century assumes that Asian economies can maintain their momentum for another 40 years, adapt to shifting global economic and technological environment, continually recreate comparative advantages. In this scenario, according to 2011 modelling by the Asian Development Bank Asia's GDP would increase from $17 trillion in 2010 to $174 trillion in 2050, or half of global GDP. In the same study, the Asian Development Bank estimates that seven economies would lead Asia's powerhouse growth.
Since China's economic reforms in the late 1970s and early 1990s, the Chinese economy has enjoyed three decades of economic growth rates between 8 and 10%. The Indian economy began a similar albeit slower ascent at the end of the 1980s and early 1990s, has averaged around 4% during this period, though growing over 8% in 2005, hitting 9.2% in 2006 before slowing to 6% in 2009 reaching 8.9% in 2010. A Goldman Sachs report suggests that the Indian economy could surpass the US economy by 2043, but India "will remain a low-income country for several decades, with per capita incomes well below its other BRIC peers. If India fulfills its growth potential, it can become a motor for the world economy, a key contributor to generating spending growth". Both of these developments involved policy of a degree of managed liberalisation of the economy as well as a turning outwards of the economy towards globalization; the magnitude of this liberalisation and globalisation is still subject to debate. They were part of conscious decisions by key political leaders in India and the PRC.
The populations of the two countries offer a potential market of over two and a q
In international relations since the late 20th century, a regional power is a term used for a state that has power within a geographic region. States which wield unrivalled power and influence within a region of the world possess regional hegemony. Regional powers shape the polarity of a regional area. Regional powers have capabilities which are important in the region but do not have capabilities at a global scale. Contrasting definitions differ as to what makes a regional power; the European Consortium for Political Research defines a regional power as: "A state belonging to a geographically defined region, dominating this region in economic and military terms, able to exercise hegemonic influence in the region and considerable influence on the world scale, willing to make use of power resources and recognized or accepted as the regional leader by its neighbours". The German Institute of Global and Area Studies states that a regional power must: form part of a definable region with its own identity claim to be a regional power exert decisive influence on the geographic extension of the region as well as on its ideological construction dispose over comparatively high military, demographic and ideological capabilities be well integrated into the region define the regional security agenda to a high degree be appreciated as a regional power by other powers in the region and beyond by other regional powers be well connected with regional and global forums Below are states that have been described as regional powers by international relations and political science academics, analysts, or other experts.
These states to some extent meet the criteria to have regional power status. Different experts have differing views on which states are regional powers. States are arranged by their region, in alphabetic order. Nigeria South Africa The United States is the primary geopolitical force in the Western Hemisphere. Canada, despite being a middle power, is not a regional power because it is militarily secured by U. S. hegemony and financially comfortable by its dependence on the robust U. S. economy. United States In the past and Portugal were the dominant powers in the region but following decolonization in the first half of the 19th century, the major powers became Mexico and Argentina. Argentina Brazil Mexico Historically, China was the dominant power in East Asia. But, at the beginning of the early 20th century, the Empire of Japan became an important player in World War I as one of the Allied powers. With economic turmoil, Japan's expulsion from the League of Nations, its interest in expansion on the mainland, Japan became a major player in World War II as one of the Axis powers.
China became a key player in World War II as one of the Allied powers. Since the late 20th century, regional alliances, economic progress, contrasting military power have changed the strategic and regional power balance in Asia. In recent years, a re-balancing of military and economic power among countries such as China and India has resulted in significant changes in the geopolitics of Asia. China and Japan have gained greater influence over regions outside Asia. With close economic and military ties with the United States, South Korea and Japan are seen as major regional powers "containing" the communist regimes of China and North Korea. China Japan South Korea India Indonesia Iran Israel Saudi Arabia France, Germany and United Kingdom are regarded as the Big Four of Europe. Dominant powers in this region created large colonial empires worldwide. Most of the continent is now integrated as a consequence of the enlargement of the European Union. France Germany Italy United Kingdom Australia Transcontinental countries like Russia are able to exert regional influence in large areas of the world.
Russia Turkey ^ Considered a great power ^ Member of Barry. Regional Orders and Regional Powers, Routledge, pp. 193–208, ISBN 978-1-136-71891-5 Stewart-Ingersoll, Robert.
Switzerland the Swiss Confederation, is a country situated in western and southern Europe. It consists of 26 cantons, the city of Bern is the seat of the federal authorities; the sovereign state is a federal republic bordered by Italy to the south, France to the west, Germany to the north, Austria and Liechtenstein to the east. Switzerland is a landlocked country geographically divided between the Alps, the Swiss Plateau and the Jura, spanning a total area of 41,285 km2. While the Alps occupy the greater part of the territory, the Swiss population of 8.5 million people is concentrated on the plateau, where the largest cities are to be found: among them are the two global cities and economic centres Zürich and Geneva. The establishment of the Old Swiss Confederacy dates to the late medieval period, resulting from a series of military successes against Austria and Burgundy. Swiss independence from the Holy Roman Empire was formally recognized in the Peace of Westphalia in 1648; the country has a history of armed neutrality going back to the Reformation.
It pursues an active foreign policy and is involved in peace-building processes around the world. In addition to being the birthplace of the Red Cross, Switzerland is home to numerous international organisations, including the second largest UN office. On the European level, it is a founding member of the European Free Trade Association, but notably not part of the European Union, the European Economic Area or the Eurozone. However, it participates in the Schengen Area and the European Single Market through bilateral treaties. Spanning the intersection of Germanic and Romance Europe, Switzerland comprises four main linguistic and cultural regions: German, French and Romansh. Although the majority of the population are German-speaking, Swiss national identity is rooted in a common historical background, shared values such as federalism and direct democracy, Alpine symbolism. Due to its linguistic diversity, Switzerland is known by a variety of native names: Schweiz. On coins and stamps, the Latin name – shortened to "Helvetia" – is used instead of the four national languages.
Switzerland is one of the most developed countries in the world, with the highest nominal wealth per adult and the eighth-highest per capita gross domestic product according to the IMF. Switzerland ranks at or near the top globally in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, quality of life, economic competitiveness and human development. Zürich and Basel have all three been ranked among the top ten cities in the world in terms of quality of life, with the first ranked second globally, according to Mercer in 2018; the English name Switzerland is a compound containing Switzer, an obsolete term for the Swiss, in use during the 16th to 19th centuries. The English adjective Swiss is a loan from French Suisse in use since the 16th century; the name Switzer is from the Alemannic Schwiizer, in origin an inhabitant of Schwyz and its associated territory, one of the Waldstätten cantons which formed the nucleus of the Old Swiss Confederacy. The Swiss began to adopt the name for themselves after the Swabian War of 1499, used alongside the term for "Confederates", used since the 14th century.
The data code for Switzerland, CH, is derived from Latin Confoederatio Helvetica. The toponym Schwyz itself was first attested in 972, as Old High German Suittes perhaps related to swedan ‘to burn’, referring to the area of forest, burned and cleared to build; the name was extended to the area dominated by the canton, after the Swabian War of 1499 came to be used for the entire Confederation. The Swiss German name of the country, Schwiiz, is homophonous to that of the canton and the settlement, but distinguished by the use of the definite article; the Latin name Confoederatio Helvetica was neologized and introduced after the formation of the federal state in 1848, harking back to the Napoleonic Helvetic Republic, appearing on coins from 1879, inscribed on the Federal Palace in 1902 and after 1948 used in the official seal.. Helvetica is derived from the Helvetii, a Gaulish tribe living on the Swiss plateau before the Roman era. Helvetia appears as a national personification of the Swiss confederacy in the 17th century with a 1672 play by Johann Caspar Weissenbach.
Switzerland has existed as a state in its present form since the adoption of the Swiss Federal Constitution in 1848. The precursors of Switzerland established a protective alliance at the end of the 13th century, forming a loose confederation of states which persisted for centuries; the oldest traces of hominid existence in Switzerland date back about 150,000 years. The oldest known farming settlements in Switzerland, which were found at Gächlingen, have been dated to around 5300 BC; the earliest known cultural tribes of the area were members of the Hallstatt and La Tène cultures, named after the archaeological site of La Tène on the north side of Lake Neuchâtel. La Tène culture developed and flourished during the late Iron Age from around 450 BC under some influence from the Gree
In international politics, food power is the use of agriculture as a means of political control whereby one nation or group of nations offers or withholds commodities from another nation or group of nations in order to manipulate behavior. Its potential use as a weapon was recognised after OPEC’s earlier use of oil as a political weapon. Food has a major influence on political actions of a nation. In response to acts of food power, a nation acts in the interest of its citizens to provide food. Food power is an integral part of the politics of food; the idea of food power is used in embargoes and food politics. In order for a nation to utilize food power the nation must apply and display scarcity, supply concentration, demand dispersion, action independence; the four main nations that export enough agriculture to be able to exert food power are the United States, Canada and New Zealand. On the smaller scale in some African countries, food power has been used as a weapon by opposing sides in internal wars and conflicts against their own people.
There are four nations in the world that export enough agriculture to exert this hypothetical food power: the United States, Canada and New Zealand. Forced to rely on these nations in times of shortage, food-importing countries may face food crises if needed supplies are withheld, but while political leaders in food-importing countries have expressed misgivings over their dependence, food-exporting nations do not withhold food, as agricultural producers in these nations press their governments to continue to export. Food politics are the political aspects of the production, regulation and distribution of food; the politics can be affected by the ethical, cultural and environmental disputes concerning proper farming and retailing methods and regulations. Food power is an integral part of the politics of food.“Food is a weapon”, stated Earl Butz, the United States Secretary of Agriculture, in 1974. OPEC's use of oil as a political weapon brought on the possibility for America to use food as a tool against other states and to further the US's goals.
There are alternative uses of food power as well. An importer can refuse to continue import; this would have the same effects. An example of this would be American reduction of the Cuban sugar quota. In simple terms, the demand concentration and supply dispersion an importer can try to use this exchange politically to their favor. Food security and food power are not the same thing. However, they are directly related. Food security is when all people of a region at all times have enough food for an active, healthy life. Food power is related when a government, leader, country etc. takes this security away in order to get something in return. Many countries employ the exploit of food power to threaten another country's food security. A country's welfare correlates directly with the welfare of its people therefore each country wants to have an appropriate supply of food for its citizens; this want, can be used as leverage in the politics of food, demonstrating food power. An embargo is not the same as Food Power, food power can be used in an embargo.
In fact, embargoes that do not involve food in their list of restricted items fail. For example, on August 20, 1914 the Allied Powers began an embargo on important items that were shipped to Germany. However, the embargo was not complete nor effective until food was added to the list of restricted materials. Food has the real power. After food was introduced the blockade began to strangle Germany's economy because they were dependent on imports for food; because the Allied Powers used the power of food in their embargo, Germany was forced to resort to desperate measures and failed despite them. In the early 1980s, the United States posed a grain embargo upon the Soviet Union; this was an attempt by the U. S. utilize food power, however, it was not confirmed. The Soviets thus imported grain from different suppliers, leading to an increase in grain imports during that time period, only at a higher cost. Another unsuccessful embargo food power attempt was imposed by the UN Security Council in 1990 upon Iraq.
Another example of an embargo is the United States embargo against Cuba. This is still an ongoing embargo, due to the declining situation and health of Cuba's people, the embargo has been subject to much protest. Food power can only be used if certain structural conditions apply: Scarcity: If demand is high and supply is limited the value of a given commodity increases; the price reflects the potential of the goods as a weapon. Example: If a consumer is prepared to pay a high price for monetary terms he may be willing to pay a high price in political concessions. Supply Concentration: Supply should only be in the hands of few producers/ sellers, as this makes possible for limited competition, price fixes, or a monopoly. Demand Dispersion: Allows sellers to play the consumers against each other as well as increase prices or make terms conditional; this favors the use of economic goods food as a weapon. Action Independence: the seller/producer most control his own assets. Either the seller/producer must be able to control the production process through governmental control over companies carrying out the production), or he must have access to means on the other di